Web Analytics

The main issue concerning web analytics is that we get large quantities of data, but no insights (information – data with meaning attached to it). The raw data is referred to as clickstream data. This click-level data needs to be interpreted to really bring some value. Clickstream data tells us the ‘what’, but we need to get the insight – ‘why’. In order to get to the ‘why’, we have to work our way through several stages.

The first stage after gathering the clickstream data is a multiple outcomes analysis. That means we have to tie the web-site outcomes (increased revenue, reduced costs, improved CRM) to all the activities we do on our site so that these activities support our multiple outcomes. The next stage is experimenting and testing. That means we can use tools such as Google Website Optimizer or learn from our customers through feedback. Then we can adjust our site and see if the click-level data improves. This stage already partially tells us the ‘why’, because we leverage opinions of our visitors. The next stage fully utilizes the voice of customer. We get a clear picture of why we get the clickstream data. It is possible to implement another stage, which deals with competitive intelligence. Through certain web tools, we can compare our clickstream data to data of our competitors.

 

 

Web analytics are usually presented either in a form of metrics or as a KPI – key performance indicator. A metric is a quantitative measurement describing data and trends, whereas KPI is a report explaining how we are doing against our objectives. When someone comes to our site, we call him a visitor. If the same subject comes again and doesn’t block the first party cookies, we can identify him as a unique visitor. The whole time spend at all the pages of our site is then called a visit.

There are six foundation metrics – visits, bounce rate, page views, pages/visit, average time on site and % of new visits. The one that probably needs to be explained further is the bounce rate. It is the amount of visitors, who left the site instantly without any further clicking.

There are several visitor acquisition methods – direct traffic (visitor searches directly for your URL), search engine, other (banner ads…) and referring sites.

Hubbard One came up with a new web analytics tool, which is designed specifically for law firms. Apparently, law firms don’t have the skill and time to understand analytical data that isn’t tailored to their needs and so Hubbard One decided to fill this gap.

The privacy issue of web analytics is a very hot and discussed topic. A web analytics firm and its clients, including about.me and Spotify, were sued for crossing the legal line of gathering data about their browsing customers. They attached a new set of cookies to these customers’ browsers even though the customers didn’t want to be tracked, and therefore unattached the previous cookies.

Search Engine Marketing

SEM is a branch of digital marketing, in which marketers attempt to bring the most promising prospects to the website and subsequently try to turn them into customers through the best possible online-user experience. SEM happens in two major ways and that is through paid campaigns (PPC – pay per click) or SEO – search engine optimization. It is basically about using the right keywords either in the paid search or in your site’s content, and about providing relevant results to those who get to your site.

 

 

How do we increase our findability so that our web appears in the organic search results on the first page in the search engine results? Let’s first look at some of the terms I just used. Findability is pretty obvious, it is the quality of being easy to find online. Organic search results are the results we don’t have to directly pay for. However, it is almost impossible to appear there without investing any money. The opposite of organic result is the sponsored result. That appears at that very top or beginning of search results as well as on the right side, if we talk about Google. Organic results are the ones in the middle, below the sponsored. And why first page of results? Well, think about it, how many times have you actually gone further than the first result page. Yes, not very often, and the same applies to most people.

So, how do we perform SEM? It is necessary to first undergo the PPC campaign. Many organizations think they can only implement the SEO, “which doesn’t cost anything”. Well, SEO does cost something, even though it isn’t a direct cost. It takes a lot of time, which could otherwise be spent by working. The truth is that you first have to know the best keywords that drag traffic to your site in order to start implementing SEO. That is achieved by PPC campaign. The most widely used tool to carry out paid search is the Google AdWords. There are other tools offered by Yahoo! and MSN. Each click, which leads to our site, is paid for. We can then look at the analytics tool and see, which key words or key phrases were the most successful ones. These can be then skillfully incorporated in site’s content.

Cornish Web Services is a company providing SEM services. They claim to have increased the web traffic by 40% in case of a client, who sells consumer electronics. For another web shop, they managed to increase the amount of sales by 32% in one month and the amount of filled contact forms by 180%.

The Venue Zone used services of Arrow Internet Marketing company and they were more than satisfied. They managed to get 20 sets of the best keyword phrases on page one at Google and some of them even within the top 5 results.